The Zambian Constitution PART III “PROTECTION OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOM OF THE INDIVIDUAL’’ Article 11, Fundamental rights and freedoms, unapologetically states as follows: “It is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, but subject to the limitations contained in this Part, to each and all of the following, namely (among others): life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law; freedom of conscience, expression, assembly, movement and association.”
But this last week we have experienced first-hand, the gross violation of Zambians’ individual freedom of expression by the PF government. The arrest of Chama Fumba, also known as PILATO, on flimsy charges by the PF is a gross violation of individual liberties. The Public Order Act that is being abused in this case was enacted in 1955, when there was no Zambia. It is shameful that our PF Government has found it convenient to use the oppressors’ Act.
The Bill of Rights is being savagely abrogated by the PF leaders and cadres. In the minds of the PF leaders and its cadres, barbaric and oppressive behaviour has become the modus operandi, in other words the rule rather than the exception. Just last week again, their Secretary General Davies Chama used a gun, by law a dangerous weapon, on an unarmed citizen and yet he still roams the streets of Zambia, a free man.
We have seen very worrying tendencies under this PF Government where freedoms are being rationed by PF leaders and cadres. Going to the market may land a person in trouble, visiting fellow Zambians in certain neighbourhoods may land you in trouble, campaigning for a candidate of your choice may cost you your life. Singing a song can have you spend a night in police cells.
UPND WEEKLY POLICY ISSUE